NICOSIA, (AFP) — Mutinous soldiers have attacked a Syrian air force intelligence base in the northwestern province of Idlib, killing eight people, a rights group said on Friday.
“A group of deserters attacked an air force intelligence centre… killing eight people from the base,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement received in Nicosia.
The Britain-based Observatory said at least 13 people were wounded in the three-hour gunbattle on Thursday between the rebels and intelligence agents at the base, located on a highway to the Mediterranean port city of Latakia.
On November 16, fighters opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad raided an intelligence base outside Damascus, in one of the most daring attacks to have been claimed by the rebel Free Syrian Army.
At a meeting earlier this week in Turkey, the Free Syrian Army met with the civilian opposition Syrian National Council, agreeing to coordinate their efforts to overthrow Assad’s regime.
The United Nations said Thursday that more than 4,000 people have been killed in the Syrian regime’s crackdown on democracy protests since mid-March.
The UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, said meanwhile that the violence in Syria is a civil war.
Pillay warned that as more defectors threatened to take up arms, there was an increasing threat of “a civil war and at the moment — that is how I am characterising this.”